Despite the fact that their latest album was released in the height of a pandemic it’s worth noting that The Killer’s sixth studio album, Imploding the Mirage, has garnered critical acclaim and sold by the bucketload.
However there is an undoubted sense that some critics, and more than a few assorted musical snobs, seem to have some issue with the Las Vegas rockers.
As an act The Killers have always been slick and inviting for the admirably large fanbase but they have, somewhat unfairly, been considered very much style over substance, but seriously what’s not to like?
Brandon Flowers and his bandmates are certainly sartorially elegant and when they burst onto the scene early this century, alongside similarly sharp dressed act The Strokes, they got more than their fair share of front page shots in teen-geared fashion magazines.
But much like their fashion sense, they’ve matured into an even sharper dressed set of performers over the course of the past decade and a half. Brandon still rocks the designer glasses both on and off the stage and the rest of the band look like they could have all just walked off a model photo shoot.
But they are more than just a GQ act, though it is worth noting that Flowers has impressed enough with his fashion sense to have his own style gallery on that venerable magazine’s stylish website. However, The Killers have so much more to offer to those willing to really take time to appreciate what they have to offer on the music scene.
Since breaking onto the scene with 2004’s Hot Fuss, Flowers and his cohorts have managed to retain a high level of success over the course of the past decade and a half with a mixture of classic rock and the occasional move into fresh territory, such as with dance-smash hit Human.
In some ways The Killers suffer criticism similar to that leveled to the likes of Coldplay by those who feel that their brand of rock lacks inventiveness or indeed that the band can be seen as very much playing safe when it comes to their releases.
The simple fact is that as an act, especially when playing live, The Killers have a loyal following that has grown considerably over the years and as such Flowers and co. probably couldn’t care less about the detractors.
The Killers are very much a band who do their best when they stick to what they do best, and that’s passionate Springsteen-esque rock, and given that there aren’t all that many acts, successful ones at least, who still hold a torch for this genre of the artform, it’s very much a style they do well to stick with.
Imploding the Mirage comes three years after Wonderful Wonderful and shows a band somewhat invigorated since their last release and ready to once again charm the listeners who waited patiently for its release.
Opening single Caution reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Airplay charts and subsequent releases of Fire in Bone, My Own Soul’s Warning and Dying Breed was also well received.
Sales of Imploding the Myth made the album the second best-selling album of the year in the UK, cementing their popularity on the other side of the Atlantic.
The album has some slow burning gems and plays well, even on first listening, and has secured top marks from most leading musical sites and magazines.
Though this is the band’s first album since the departure of guitarist Dave Keuning it’s fair to say this didn’t hamper The Killers. They were aided in no small measure by the presence of Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham, who is present on 80s rock-infused track Caution.
Lyrically Flowers digs deep into his armory and there is a sense that the band are very much back to their very best and arguably this is potentially their best effort, though clearly their debut record Hot Fuss would be hard pushed to be defeated for that crown.
Production on the LP is polished and gives the sound the anthemic quality it deserves and will no doubt leave fans itching to get back to seeing The Killers on stage sometime in the not too distant future.
As a live act you’d have to be blind or in need of, as well as a hearing aid, to not appreciate just how effective The Killers are when in front of a crowd, indeed it’s arguably where their real brilliance can be most readily felt.
Indeed the band’s love of their hometown Las Vegas, and their ability to rock any stage, were both endorsed by their recent live show played at half-time during a recent encounter between the Las Vegas Raiders and the New Orleans Saints, played on a rooftop to welcome the first game since the franchise moved from Oakland to Nevada.
We live in something of an uncertain age, with 2020 being a peculiar and unsettling year for pretty much everyone. And as such sometimes the maxim, if it’s not broken, why fix it, couldn’t be more apt. The Killers know what they are good at and continue to prove it.
Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic the bankable success of the music scene was in the live shows, and not the selling of album units, but clearly with sold-out shows in front of adoring masses are something of a thing of the past, the onus moves back to the importance of the records themselves.
Luckily with Imploding the Myth The Killers have got you covered on that front, too.